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What is Planet Fitness’s “lunk alarm”?

What is Planet Fitness's lunk alarm

What is Planet Fitness’s “lunk alarm”?

First of all, the catchy phrase pertains to presumably a man, who is grunting/yelling/straining and slamming free weights around. He would be a “lunk” – since PF really does not want that sort of individual (who can look and act pretty intimidating) – they have some sort of an alarm that an employee at the front desk will sound (briefly) indicating it was all heard or noticed – and please refrain.

At my location, it is not quiet at all because so many people are working out but they are not acting or sounding like they are going to compete in the Mr. Olympia contest. Just average people trying to get healthy on machines, cardio workouts, and yes – free weights too.

Basically, “if you make a noise that we deem loud and/or offensive, which distracts and/or intimidates gym members, then we will make an even louder sound that not only shames you, but is even more loud, offensive, distracting, and intimidating”.

A marketing gimmick to encourage less fit people to exercise there. I love how they say ‘Judgement Free Zone’ and have an alarm to use if you judge someone as being a ‘Lunk’. The entire concept of labeling people is a judgment. 

It’s an alarm the staff will pull that alerts the entire gym that someone is acting like a ‘Lunk’ (see pic above for details).

Although a real alarm, it’s mostly just a gimmick they have to solidify their stance on not letting anyone get intimidated by some guy (yes, this is clearly directed at men only) “slamming his weights” or god forbid drinking water out of a gallon jug.

Honestly, I find it to be stupid, and quite ironic to boot. What I mean by the latter point is that Planet Fitness is casting judgment on a guy wearing a tank top drinking water out of a gallon jug – yet designating their weight room as a ‘no judgment zone’…how does that make sense? If you pick and choose who is going to be kicked out, that’s almost literally the definition of judgment.

What is Planet Fitness’s “lunk alarm”?

Back in the day, the Daily Show with Jon Stewart did a satire on Planet Fitness where they outline the lunk alarm specifically. Here you get to see it go off, and see their hypocrisy in a hilarious way:

If you drop weights they sound the alarm. It is prohibited. In meathead gyms, there is a lot of dropping weights, grunting, yelling, and overall dickery going on. This can be intimidating to some people and will downright run off members. Planet Fitness is much calmer, with lots of cardio equipment and machines (in most locations).

It took some getting used to me because I began training and kept training for years in gyms geared toward competitive bodybuilding, powerlifting, and Olympic lifting. After a long break, my husband convinced me to get back in the gym and Planet Fitness is a closer drive. The culture is different because a lot of the members are clueless as to how to train or like me, they are trying to get back into and stay in shape. I used to try and help them out but not anymore unless they ask. And I try not to watch some of the exercises they are doing.

Competition is not the goal now – just want to stay in shape. I can work out at my own pace. No matter how awesome you are or think you are, no one in Planet Fitness is going to know. Funny when an inexperienced kid park next to me and sees me hitting 45s and 50s for dumbbell bench presses – multiple reps. Inevitably they grab the 50s off the rack and get buried. I am 63 and 115 pounds. Dang good for my old ass but a crack up when I see a trainwreck in the making. They get embarrassed – a granny shouldn’t be able to lift more than a young guy. But as I said I have learned not to give advice. Tee hee.

PF is a great place, reasonably priced for anyone who wants to stay in shape.

I just switched from my city rec. center to PF and couldn’t be happier. It is spacious, clean, and has hundreds of pieces of equipment. In return for giving up a pool and an indoor track, I am paying 1/3 of what is used to pay. PF is aimed at people who don’t feel comfortable in traditional gyms. I’m fairly serious about my workouts, but I don’t like a lot of noise.

Signs everywhere promote a “judgment-free” atmosphere and remind people not to drop weights. The lunk alarm is one element in their business model. Unfortunately, I have seen dozens of comments online by self-appointed experts who feel compelled to list all the ways PF is a bad idea. These are the exact people PF is trying to discourage from joining.

The alarm itself is a light on the wall accompanied by some type of sound and this sign. I think it is mostly symbolic. I haven’t heard it in my first several weeks.

It is an alarm that they use to discourage people from dropping and throwing down weights and banging the stops on the machines. If you make too much noise doing these things you can scare or discourage the more casual customers, damage the machines, or possibly injure someone. From what I see most of the people who throw down weights at the PF are actually not lifting seriously large weights.

They throw down weights because they think it makes them look cool. If you are using one of the machines and it makes a loud bang with each rep you are using the machine incorrectly and should stop until you learn how to use it correctly. People do occasionally accidentally drop weight or bang the stops on one of the machines. If you do this and they sound the lunk alarm it is no big deal.

They are not going to throw you out for it and most of the other customers do not get excited about it. I spend a lot of time at PF and I only very occasionally hear them sound the lunk alarm. It is no big deal. People who get all butthurt over this issue about Planet Fitness should probably train somewhere else.

What is the “Lunk” alarm at planet fitness? Is it actually beneficial for the people trying to work out?

The lunk alarm is a ridiculous addition to planet fitness that is intended to reduce noise levels by sounding in response to a certain volume. Not only does making noise seem counterproductive to stopping it, but it can also be a large detriment for those working out.

Take me for example. I recently started working on my cleaning. When you get to the apex of the movement, it is far easier to drop the bar than to place it back down. Especially true with heavier weights in this movement, it may mean hurting your back trying to place a weight back on the ground quietly.

The gym is meant to be loud. Planet Fitness is a joke and tries to put on a façade for middle-aged moms to be in a comfortable environment with little noise. You should be hearing people move some serious weight and strain their breathing, and if you can’t tolerate it wireless earbuds work wonders.

What’s so bad about Planet Fitness?

I’ve worked out consistently for 35 years. Two years ago I signed up at Planet Fitness because it’s really close to my house and the price is great. It’s perfectly fine for getting a good everyday workout. I do a lot of cardio and I use free weights. Yes, it might not have quite the selection of bodybuilding equipment as some other more “professional” gyms, but there is more than enough for a good workout.

Actually a couple of the bigger ones a few miles away from me have quite a bit of strength-building equipment- as much as Golds, etc. and I wouldn’t go nutty about them having tootsie rolls – seriously, I like to munch on a little tootsie roll sometimes while running for an hour on the treadmill. It’s a nice little boost and not really many calories or all that much sugar in a quarter ounce of candy.

There are a lot of regulars who are serious about staying in shape at Planet Fitness where I work out as well. However, the best thing is that PF is far cleaner than any 24-Hour, Golds, or LA Fitness I’ve been part of in the past. The people working there are also extremely polite. I guess haters just want to hate. I look at it like picking a school… regardless of the reputation, it is what you make it. If you put in time and effort it will serve you well.

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Does Planet Fitness not want you to get fit/healthy?

A few years back I got divorced and had to stay with my brother for a while. I did the typical “delete Facebook and hit the gym” thing everyone talks about. I really did need it.

The only gym close was Planet Fitness. They didn’t have free weights but I figured I could make do with the Smith machines and their cardio equipment was really quite good. The best thing, they were never crowded.

On the walls of Planet Fitness, they freely advertise that they are against the “LUNK” that would make a normal person feel out of place at the gym. Basically to them, a Lunk is someone that can lift heavy weights, is fit, and takes fitness seriously. Essentially, Planet Fitness believes they are intimidating and keeps people out of the gym.

Planet Fitness has a “LUNK Alarm” where if someone drops weights, grunts, are flexing their muscles in the mirror, etc, a loud siren wails, and red lights around the gym begin flashing. At this point, the gym managers make a show of asking the LUNK to leave.

Additionally, Planet Fitness gives you a dominos pizza when you sign up. And every morning they have free bagels for members.

So after almost three years I visited my brother for Memorial Weekend and went to go workout. In the three years, I’ve gone from 225lbs and fat to 145lbs and skinny to 195lbs with abs.

I’m apparently a LUNK.

I began my workout doing bench presses on their Smith Machines. I worked my way up to 315lbs and then asked someone to spot me, as I don’t like using the safety guides on Smith machines. The guy was friendly but didn’t really know what to do. I explained it and he seemed alright.

Two reps in alarms blared. Scared the shit out of me and I almost dropped the bar on my chest. If it wasn’t for my spotter I’d probably be in the hospital right now.

Anyway, a cadre of employees led by the manager all paraded over me, loudly declared me a LUNK, and informed me I was not welcome at their gym. The employees began clapping as I grabbed my stuff and walked out.

In the time I’ve been to Planet Fitness, I’ve never seen one fit person there. I believe the place is a scam to bilk people that want to be healthy out of money. They do nothing to promote actual health and lifestyle changes and want everyone to remain fat and unhealthy.

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Why does Planet Fitness offer pizza and candy to its members?

This “gym” is a big joke. Might as well call it Planet Obesity or Planet Heart Ailments.

I have seen some photos online with a notice “no judgement here” yet this gym discriminated against people who deadlift and power lift.

You can browse “gym fails” on Youtube and most compilations will have the trademark purple equipment of Planet Fitness. Often you will see people doing ridiculous movements and bastardizing the machines/exercises. These people are either going to damage the equipment, hurt themselves, or simple wasting time goofing around.

My gym does not allow fast food takeout to be brought in and eaten in the lounge area. We are also requested to avoid foods with a strong smell. Snacks and healthy meals (sandwiches, energy bars, etc) are fine. Pizza is a definite no.

Many coaches are trained in weight training and powerlifting and can train clients in the basics of lifting weights if they are interested.

Some branches also have mostly Olympic weightlifting coaches, with areas suited for Olympic exercises. (you can drop an 80kg barbell you just clean and press overhead and it’s no problem. the floor is built to take it)

of course, disrespectful behavior like excessive grunting/swearing as well as dropping weights is discouraged

they charge $40-60 in our currency for a monthly membership, but with all the amenities and free group classes, as well as well-maintained equipment, you are really inspired to get into shape. They are a business with goals of profit, but they also have the health and fitness of clients in mind.

In almost two years, I went from cardio-bunny to lady who lifts weights. I went from bodyweight squats to 60kg barbell squats x5, 5kg kettlebell deadlifts to 80kg 1RM, and 2kg dumbbell bench presses to 40kg 1RPM

Ladies, lifting weights in the gym won’t turn you into She-hulk. We don’t have the hormones to build mass like that. Lifting weights will pretty much give you the body and physique that you want to have.

Now that’s a gym I would like to go to! It does not look like a kiddie playground of purple and yellow! Imagine friends asking what your plan is for the day, and you go, “Lifting some iron at Warehouse!”

The Warehouse Gym is owned by Rob and Dana Linn Bailey.

Dana Linn Bailey is an American IFBB Pro fitness and figure competitor and is the first women’s physique pro.

It has always been a dream of ours to own a gym. Deeper than that, we’ve always had a vision. Something bigger than a building. Bigger than a weight room and equipment. We have a vision for culture. We’ve sat back and watched it deteriorate over time. It’s time to change it. This is THE WARHOUSE GYM.


It is how Plant Fitness reinforces their commitment to their average Joe demographic that bodybuilder types are not allowed. Or just the plainly obnoxious person that screams, drops heavy weights, and other behaviors that draw a significant amount of attention. These are the individuals that their key demographic surveys as one big reason they avoid the gym. It is an insult to people that work hard and want results. However, Planet Fitness does not cater to that or want that in their clubs.

SUM IT UP: If you go into Planet Fitness and use dumbbells to conduct a set of bench presses be prepared to hear the lunk alarm if you make sounds that can be heard at the front counter or drop the weights. You should YouTube search, there are loads of funny videos.

When someone drops weights, Miss uses equipment and lets it slam or lunk to the floor. They also judge the clothes people wear to the gym. Lunk alarm sounds and they embarrass the heck out of the person who they deem as not fit

PF is good for walkers who can’t deal with outside walking in hot or cold weather, their leg machines and rowing or step machines are good starter machines but if one needs to step up in workouts go elsewhere.

i have been a member for 5 yrs. But I only use PF to walk on the treadmills to stay out of the cold or the heat. Their sanitation of the machines sucks. Our PF uses hand sanitizer instead of good germ-killing anti-bacterial disinfectant. Flu season – they still use diluted hand sanitizer I take my own wipes. I care about my health they don’t care! But a great place to stay out of the weather. And cheap for limited use!

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